The Eucharist:Sacrifice and Sacrament of Love (p.1)

 

 

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The Most Loving and Tender Act of God 

     “There is no more loving or tender aspect in which to gaze upon the Saviour than this act, in which He, so to say, annihilates Himself, and gives Himself to us as food, in order to fill our souls, and to unite Himself more closely to the heart and flesh of His faithful ones.”  These are the wise words of St. Francis de Sales in speaking about the Holy Eucharist.  Certainly, we can gaze upon our Savior in so many different ways.  We can, for example, contemplate Him in His Infancy, adoring Him in union with the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, her chaste companion and spouse, the holy angels, the humble shepherds, and the three kings.  We can contemplate Him in His working of miracles and healings, remembering how He cures the sick and works wonders, in the lives of all those who believe in Him, for the glory of God the Father.  We can behold Him in His Sorrowful Passion and be moved with compassion, in realizing how our Redeemer suffered so willingly and lovingly for us to make reparation for the sins we have committed.  Or we can contemplate Him in His glorious Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven and praise His Holy and Powerful Name for opening wide open the doors of Heaven.  But the most loving and tender act in which we can contemplate our Savior, as St. Francis de Sales stated, is the act of giving Himself totally to us by willing to become Food for us, in order to stay with us on Earth, and gaze upon our souls and our lives when we come before His presence in the Eucharistic Tabernacle.  There our Lord expresses to us His desire to unite Himself more closely “to the heart and flesh of His faithful ones.”

 

      The Eucharist is the Center of our Religion.  He is not only the Heart of the Catholic Church, or the Heart of the world, but the Heart of all Creation.  He, who was begotten and not created, is our Creator and our Life.  The Eucharist is our Creator and our Life!  He gives us life by giving Himself to us.  That is why the Eucharist is not only a Sacrifice, but also a Sacrament.  As a sacrifice, Jesus in the Holy Eucharist offers Himself to God our Father as “an offering of adoration, thanksgiving, propitiation, and supplication in our favor, and in favor of the whole world.” (St. Peter Julian Eymard)  As a Sacrament, Jesus in the Holy Eucharist desires to be received by us and should be received by us.  He adores and thanks God the Father with the perfection that the Father deserves.  He makes reparation for our sins, while being sinless himself, and as a result, the Only One worthy of making reparation for us, and the whole world.  And He offers a sacrifice of supplication to God the Father, praying for us to God the Father with the faith that He deserves to be prayed with.

 

The Eucharist is Announced in the Old Testament

      God was already preparing us for the Gift of the Eucharist in the Old Testament.  The Eucharistic Sacrifice was announced in the book of Genesis chapter 14 where it says,  “18 But Melchisedech, the king of Salem, bringing forth bread and wine, for he was the priest of the most high God, 19 Blessed him, and said: Blessed be Abram by the most high God, who created heaven and earth.  20 And blessed be the most high God, by whose protection, the enemies are in thy hands. And he gave him the tithes of all.”  The Word of God says that Melchisedech brought bread and wine.  It also says that Jesus offered bread and wine to God, just as we offer bread and wine to God in the Holy Mass, while we present our tithes (10% of what we have) to God during the offertory, or presentation of the gifts.  This bread Jesus broke and gave to His disciples, and this wine Jesus passed to them. This bread became His Body, and the wine became His Blood.  The same thing happens in the Holy Mass, for Jesus told His twelve disciples, the first bishops and priests of the Church, to “do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22,19)  And if His disciples do what Jesus did, they do what Jesus did!  By the power of the Holy Spirit, they convert the bread to Jesus’ Body, and the wine to Jesus’ Blood, because that is what they were instructed to do.

 

      The Eucharistic Sacrifice is also announced in the immolation of the Paschal Lamb.  In Exodus chapter 12 we read, 6 “…the whole multitude of the children of Israel shall sacrifice [the lamb] in the evening.  7 And they shall take of the blood thereof, and put it upon both the side posts, and on the upper doorposts of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.  8 And they shall eat the flesh that night roasted at the fire, and unleavened bread… 11 And thus you shall eat it: you shall gird your reins, and you shall have shoes on your feet, holding staves in your hands, and you shall eat in haste; for it is the Phase (that is the Passage) of the Lord.  12 And I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and will kill every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast: and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments; I am the Lord.  13 And the blood shall be unto you for a sign in the houses where you shall be; and I shall see the blood, and shall pass over you; and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I shall strike the land of Egypt.”...

 

 

 

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